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Westfield Belconnen (It’s The Place to Be!)

Jethro 28 November 2010 43

Westfield Belconnen [Photo by Owen]

Normally I am one who tries to avoid worshipping at Belconnen’s Grand High Temple to Consumerism. Tonight, however, it would seem that the fates (and a wife desperate to get the Christmas shopping out of the way) conspired against me, and so it was that I found myself joining the throng of Friday night shoppers. The crowds seemed a little larger and enthusiastic than I would have expected for a typical Friday night.

Christmas? I wondered.

Possibly.

But, it would seem that the crowds were out in force tonight to see the newly opened arm of the centre.

From what I can gather, we seem to have a new Aldi, the Dan (Jim??) Murphy’s has moved (unless they have added a second one?) and there seems to be a new coffee shop that has some comfy sofas to sit on (maybe its not new, but I haven’t noticed it before). There is a fruit and vege store. Otherwise, it seems to mostly  be boarded-up shop fronts that proclaim the future arrival of  “lifestyle shops”. There is a new escalator with a large area where you can look out a window and view the carpark (which is huge and, despite the heaving masses, had swathes of empty spots). The bus station is directly accessible from the shopping centre.

As I said, I’m not a huge fan of the Westfield style super-mall that has come to dominate our retail landscape. Nonetheless, the prols who were wondering around, slack-jawed and wide-eyed, seemed to be impressed by the changes.

So. What do we all think of the new extension?


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43 Responses to Westfield Belconnen (It’s The Place to Be!)
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random random 1:30 pm 27 Nov 10

I think it’s great — a cascade of small improvements adding up to something quite impressive. I mean, it’s still a mall, but it’s a much better mall.

The place looks nicer in general. Parking is much, much better. The new Dan Murphy’s location makes it easier to just pop in on the way somewhere. It’s good to have an Aldi close by for those things it does better than Coles and Woolworths. The Coles renovations are long overdue. Ziggy’s has much better produce than the supermarkets. The new bus stop is miles better.

And now that we have a Breadtop I can become monstrously obese eating exotic buns.

Brianna Brianna 1:49 pm 27 Nov 10

The most noticeable thing to me is how dangerously slippery the new tiles are.

Deref Deref 2:33 pm 27 Nov 10

I haven’t been there, though I doubt that I’ll be able to avoid it forever. I think shopping malls are the most horrible, anti-human, alienating places that homo sapiens creates. I can’t imagine that this will be any different. Whether Belconnen Mall or Woden Plaza is the more awful I can’t say – they’re both horrifyingly dreadful.

genki genki 2:35 pm 27 Nov 10

BREADTOP???? Belconnen has just shot up in my estimation! Was surprised one wasn’t built in the Canberra Centre – great news! Are the renovations to Coles the same as Queanbeyan? To the new style with openplan butcher and better deli etc? and low-height shelving? If so will consider shopping there – love what they did at Queanbeyan.

gospeedygo gospeedygo 3:22 pm 27 Nov 10

Deref said :

I haven’t been there, though I doubt that I’ll be able to avoid it forever. I think shopping malls are the most horrible, anti-human, alienating places that homo sapiens creates. I can’t imagine that this will be any different. Whether Belconnen Mall or Woden Plaza is the more awful I can’t say – they’re both horrifyingly dreadful.

I agree with this. Christmas makes it 1000x more horrible. Plus it always feels like a bloody over year round and the artificial lighting makes me feel sick.

basketcase basketcase 4:02 pm 27 Nov 10

I wandered from the third level food court to a second level food court! I couldn’t help but observe that the mall seems to have become one huge coffee house and food court.

The Benjamin Way end seemed a bit quiet, so wonder how those traders are now coping that the buses come in at the Western end.

Looks nice, but a bit overrated.

Gourmand Gourmand 4:15 pm 27 Nov 10

The new part of Belconnen Mall is quite nice with a few good new additions. The new Dan’s is good with a better range than before and it feels nicer, the new Coles is okay and it’s always good to see another Aldi. Also, access to parking from Lathlain St is a great benefit.

gimmeth gimmeth 5:00 pm 27 Nov 10

the new bit is nice but the rest of the mall is having the tiles stripped off, and bizarrely this seems to have spawned a walking surface that varies (suddenly) by several inches between random bits of the old mall, and suddenly varies again! And to add to the fun the floor has many largish pock marks in the concrete in random places that may be an inch or more deeper than the surrounding surfaces.

Now I must say that somebody has helpfully marked each and every one of the thousands of precarious holes and inclines and slopes and chips with bright yellow paint, making the floor look like a wonderful piece of abstract art, and I saw 3 A4 signs (helpfully grouped together) near the 3rd floor food court alerting folks to an uneven surface, but I also saw more than one elderly or impaired person nearly fall when a walking stick went in one hole, a foot in another, and then a carefully placed incline interfered with the re-balancing attempt.

Now don’t even start me on the wheelchairs and strollers trying to navigate, or the high heeled beauties who are swarming to the sales. . . it is a trainwreck waiting to happen, although in at least some cases some interesting lingerie may be exposed thanks to short skirts and long legs.

But maybe I am just grumpy, because i have a shredded disc in my lower back which was jarred numerous times today because of the uneven floor, giving me the option of walking with my head down paying attention to every square inch of terrain, and then being bumped by shopping trolleys that are not designed for off-road conditions, or avoiding the traffic by looking ahead, and subsequently rolling my ankle on the rough ground. GRRRR!

canberrafoodie canberrafoodie 5:14 pm 27 Nov 10

Long time reader first time commenter,

I went down to the new Belconnen shopping centre today, It was still a bit under construction. The building will be great, easy access to Dan Murphy’s (owned by Woolworths not Jim) and a great new coles. I went to Ziggies and bought some watermelon for less than $1/kg, I also got 2 punnets of strawberries for $3 But when I got home I opened them and had to chuck most away as they had already gone bad. It was so busy when I bought them I did not really check. I am a little disappointed with the fruit and veg selection at ziggies, they seem to have a larger section of groceries than their other outlets. All the grocery lines seem over priced and not that appealing. I hope they can change the store and increase their fresh produce.

I have never herd of bread top before but it certainly does seem very popular it was hard to find standing room inside the shop.

all in all the the extension is great, I hope they put in some more food stuff and a little less of the women’s fashion ect.

Mr Waffle Mr Waffle 6:24 pm 27 Nov 10

Bread Top?!?!?!! That and Easy Way were like the two things I looked forward to most when going to Sydney! It’s like a fatty dream come true…

Brianna Brianna 6:59 pm 27 Nov 10

gimmeth said :

I also saw more than one elderly or impaired person nearly fall when a walking stick went in one hole, a foot in another, and then a carefully placed incline interfered with the re-balancing attempt.

Now don’t even start me on the wheelchairs and strollers trying to navigate, or the high heeled beauties who are swarming to the sales. . . it is a trainwreck waiting to happen, although in at least some cases some interesting lingerie may be exposed thanks to short skirts and long legs.

But maybe I am just grumpy, because i have a shredded disc in my lower back which was jarred numerous times today because of the uneven floor, giving me the option of walking with my head down paying attention to every square inch of terrain, and then being bumped by shopping trolleys that are not designed for off-road conditions, or avoiding the traffic by looking ahead, and subsequently rolling my ankle on the rough ground. GRRRR!

I wholeheartedly agree. My friend is sight impaired and he dare not go to the mall now unless he has someone with him to help. Very frustrating for him as he is very independent. I also have spinal problems and the amount of problems with the floor make it impossible to go there unharmed. If you don’t watch the floor, you hurt yourself by being hit or running into people and objects. If you watch the people, prams and trolleys, then you run the very real risk of falling.

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 9:18 pm 27 Nov 10

The belco mall is now a strange place, ranging from new and trendy to old and bogan.

Yay.

Jerry Atric Jerry Atric 9:20 pm 27 Nov 10

Brianna said :

The most noticeable thing to me is how dangerously slippery the new tiles are.

I noticed several young gels enjoying skating on the tiles(OK, I enjoyed watching them)

Tanktrax Tanktrax 7:29 am 28 Nov 10

On top of the unsafe environment, I am also astonished that the fresh food shops are allowed to trade in what is nothing more than a construction zone. Check out Coles and other shops with items on their shelves… everything has a fine layer of concrete dust over it…. Just imagine that crap in your fresh food?

I am amazed the government health authorities haven’t shut them down…

Jethro Jethro 12:47 pm 28 Nov 10

Tanktrax said :

On top of the unsafe environment, I am also astonished that the fresh food shops are allowed to trade in what is nothing more than a construction zone. Check out Coles and other shops with items on their shelves… everything has a fine layer of concrete dust over it…. Just imagine that crap in your fresh food?

I am amazed the government health authorities haven’t shut them down…

It’s better than asbestos…

Ian Ian 4:13 pm 28 Nov 10

Went there this afternoon, meh, generic shopping mall.

arescarti42 arescarti42 4:24 pm 28 Nov 10

gospeedygo said :

Deref said :

I haven’t been there, though I doubt that I’ll be able to avoid it forever. I think shopping malls are the most horrible, anti-human, alienating places that homo sapiens creates. I can’t imagine that this will be any different. Whether Belconnen Mall or Woden Plaza is the more awful I can’t say – they’re both horrifyingly dreadful.

I agree with this. Christmas makes it 1000x more horrible. Plus it always feels like a bloody over year round and the artificial lighting makes me feel sick.

Agreed. Shopping Centres are just about the most horrible, characterless, artificial environments I’ve ever encountered.

Plus the crowds make me homicidal.

H1NG0 H1NG0 4:49 pm 28 Nov 10

I think I speak on behalf of the majority of Canberrans here when I wornder why any shops or malls try to update. Clearly what people want is a DeLorean so we can go back to the 1970’s or even better, a time before there was concrete dust.

Why should we have to check our fresh produce before we buy it? My eyes are too precious for any sort of self responsibility. Your $5 per hour workers should be checking my strawberrys for me! And while you are doing that, you might want to clean of the concrete dust off my melons. I mean concrete dust! Come on! Everyone knows thats what Hitler used to kill the Jews and even they didn’t have to walk on these uneven floors! This crap is outrageous!

Oh no! There is concrete dust on my loaf of bread, who is going to dust it for me? Damn you Belconnen Mall!

Oh no! The floor is uneven and clearly marked as such! Why did’t you just shut down the whole mall and its retailers until it is 100% complete? Damn you Belconnen Mall!

Man, with problems like these, who

Genie Genie 5:29 pm 28 Nov 10

Brianna said :

The most noticeable thing to me is how dangerously slippery the new tiles are.

Yeah those tiles are dangerous.. I almost went A over T the other day.

Wonder how many law suits they’ll get if and when someone seriously hurts them self.

Brianna Brianna 9:48 pm 28 Nov 10

Genie said :

Brianna said :

The most noticeable thing to me is how dangerously slippery the new tiles are.

Yeah those tiles are dangerous.. I almost went A over T the other day.

Wonder how many law suits they’ll get if and when someone seriously hurts them self.

I put in a written complaint to the Centre Management about the slipperiness of the tiles. I received a reply about it. I figure, if I slip due to the slipperiness of the tiles, I’m going to crucify them. I can’t afford the medical bills which will be sure to come in.

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